Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #558) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #558)
Transcript: all forms of racial discrimination I expected the judge to address himself to the question of sentence and to attempt to motivate his reasons for the totally heavy penalties we knew he would impose. I expected him to discharge Ahmed Kathrada and to give Elias Motsoaledi and Andrew Mlangeni lighter sentences. They were both juniors in MK and their respective offences could not be compared with that of the 4 accused on the National Executive of the ANC.
It may be well that the judge also felt that he ought to give Kathy the benefit of the doubt and that he was fully aware of the harshness of his sentence of Elias and Andrew; that having already acquitted 2 accused he now wanted to shift further responsibility in regard to any releases or reduction of sentence to the Appellate Division, the final Court of Appeal. For the Appellate Division to overrule him and acquit one of the appellants and to reduce the sentences of the other two would create the impression that we have received a fair trial and that those whose appeals were dismissed have been justly condemned.
The State had told defence lawyers that they would ask for the death sentence and Vorster, then Minister of Justice, had told Bob Hepple's father that General Smuts, the Prime Minister during the Second World War, had made the mistake of not hanging him and others who committed a similar offence as ours during the Second World War, and that the Nat government would not make such a mistake. He bluntly told Alex Hepple even before the proceedings started (?) that they would hang us. Why did they change their minds? (check).
Extent and Medium: 1 page